Empires that delve into the world of fine jewelry
From creating timepieces to fashioning tine jewelry
Contrary to popular belief, there’s a difference between the wristwatch and the bracelet. While the latter adorns an outfit, the former completes it: a practical item that boasts long histories of craftsmanship, tradition, and change.
But the two can breed as well. This partnership in style and function gave birth to brands that have an extensive range of contemporary pieces catering to meticulous tastes. Here are a few names that have leapt from making their signature watches to forging fine jewelry.
Founded by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in 1860, Geneva-based Chopard uses fine materials such as real stones and 18K gold for every piece. Its product catalogue consists of the most sought-after luxury pieces, such as the Happy Diamonds collection and Immortal Peacock earrings.
George Piaget popularized ultra-thin watch movements from La Cote-aux-Fees, Switzerland in 1984 and went on to grow his business into a celebrated fine jewelry line. Piaget’s style epitomizes old world glamor with its proprietary Rose designs and the Limelight Embroidery Motif ring, a classic piece of 18K white gold, set with one brilliant-cut blue topaz, four pear-cut purple sapphires, and 273 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Since its launch in 1984, Tiffany’s has gradually become a staple on everyone’s wishlist. Its elegant and feminine designs are garnished with only the rarest, most precious gems and diamonds. Some of its best pieces feature exceptional stones, like a vivid 45.44-carat, cushion-cut center green tourmaline, vibrant sapphires, tsavorites, and diamonds.
4. Van Cleef & Arpels
France-based Van Cleef & Arpels is the brainchild of master jewelers Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef, and is most notable for its floral and aviary themes. Their gem-setting style, known as Mystery Setting, is also a favorite among its high-profile clientele. The classic Van Cleef details, like the undulating lines, and abstract motifs, are best embodied in the Lune d’eau Between the Finger ring.
Cartier is arguably the world’s most famous jewelry house due to its affiliation with the royal family. It caters to the wealthiest and most prestigious clientele. The Parisian brand was founded by Louis-Francois Cartier in 1847 and has since produced some of history’s most iconic pieces, such as a 6.5-inch diamond bracelet, which sold for over $7 million.
6. Harry Winston
Harry Winston is an American brand founded in 1932. Every piece showcases a unique and elaborate design that speaks of durability and elegance. The brand has also used historical gemstones such as the Jonker, the Lesotho, the Taylor-Burton, and the legendary Hope Diamond. Their Ruby and Diamond Necklace has 31 rubies and 186 pear-shaped brilliant diamonds, set in platinum and 18K yellow gold.